About a dozen years ago, I was hired as the chorale's first Administrative Director and working in that post for a number of years to streamline chorale activities and to assist with the chorale's first Strategic Plan. As time went on, I also began to sing with the chorale and still later my wife joined to sing, as well. We have both remarked that our experience singing with the chorale has greatly enriched our lives in so many ways. One of the tasks I took on was to organize the chorale's two European trips; the first to Vienna, Salzburg and Prague and the second to Italy where we sang in Rome, Florence and Venice. Both trips were truly awesome and we were greeted with warm applause in all venues and, in retrospect, I feel that both the audiences and the chorale experienced some magical musical moments which many of us will never forget. In order to feel those magical moments both here and abroad, the expert leadership of our Artistic Director, Joseph D'Eugenio has taught us so well and inspired us to new and different heights and fostered many adventures. The rigorous rehearsals and fine-tuning we are treated to assure that our audiences receive the highest quality of sound and interpretation of the many masterworks and newly commissioned compositions require. Being part of this wonderfully diverse group has evolved into a "family" of sorts, one we truly love and enjoy. Tuesday night rehearsals are in a word, exhilarating! As a 'senior citizen', I can attest to the fact that being involved in great choral singing is life-giving and renewing!
I first discovered the GMChorale (Greater Middletown Chorale, Inc.) last November as an audience member. I was so impressed with their vocal quality, program selections and orchestral accompaniment and I thought they must all be professional singers. When I read the program book after the concert I realized they were all volunteer singers from the community-at-large. I was astounded!
Having a background in arts management I found myself compelled to help this group in anyway I could to reach more audience members, so they could experience what I did. I approached the organization and, after many conversations, I joined them as Operations Coordinator in February.
In August I accepted the position of Managing Director and I am excited to share that the GMChorale is growing by leaps and bounds - this season offering the addition of the GMChorale Chamber Singers and GMChorale Clarion Choir. A joint performance of the GMChorale's commissioned work, "Letter From Italy, 1944", will combine the voices of the GMChorale and Hartford Chorale along with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra at The Bushnell in Hartford on May 4, 2017. Other season highlights include Durufle's Requiem and Four Motets and Handel's Messiah. The GMChorale's Artistic Director, Joseph D'Eugenio, is an amazing talent and brings out the best in this talented group of community singers.
If you haven't already had the privilege of being an audience member for a GMChorale concert, I suggest you do so very soon. www.gmchorale.org
Wait til you see what this wonderful group is doing now! After being with this group for five years, I am more enthusiastic than ever that the GMChorale, under Artistic Director, Joseph D'Eugenio, is continuing to elevate the art of vocal performance, building a choral arts organization that fosters people of all ages to enjoy music in their lives. We continue to grow and to excel, reaching new audiences and new performers. This truly is a gift to the community, and offers a place where people can share the experience of live music, conversations spurred on by new collaborations, the healing power of the arts, and the joy of working together.
When I moved to Connecticut four years ago, my search for a choral group to sing with was a top priority.
Trained as an instrumentalist, but also having sung for the last 20 years, I was looking for a group that tackled serious music, but also one that wasn't too stuffy! I like to hear new music, and this group makes a point of commissioning new works. The premier of a new dramatic oratorio gave us the rare
experience of seeing how the act of creating and collaborating is a transformative experience - for the performers and the audience alike.
(Check out: Letter from Italy, 1944)
Under the masterful and delightful direction of Artistic Director, Joseph D'Eugenio, this is a group that makes fabulous music and has a good time doing it! The members work hard to make it all happen, giving of their time, talent and treasure to keep a good thing getting even better!
The Greater Middletown Chorale is a warm, friendly group of roughly 80 people. I joined last year and was immediately made to feel welcome. We sing great music and we sound great too, if I do say so myself. Joe D'Eugenio has high standards but he also cares about the people in the chorale. So, we work hard to make him happy!
GMChorale is reaching new heights in its concerts! Bernstein's Chichester Psalms & Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass masterfully directed by Artistic Director, Joseph D'Eugenio, this 80-member auditioned choir thrilled the nearly 500 who attended! Any donation made to this group is well-used to support innovative approaches to classics, new works and even commissioning of amazing endeavors such as Letter from Italy, 1944. One must attend to capture just how vibrantly masterworks can be rendered.
I've now been a member of GMChorale since 2011 (and its chamber group since 2014), and as a member, board member, and donor, I've seen the group continue to evolve and transition into a dynamic and forward-thinking organization. The move towards orchestral collaboration has advanced the performance level and both perceived and actual opinion of the group's professionalism immensely. The coming season promises to be challenging AND rewarding :-)
First, I'm not only a volunteer and participant, but I also fit into the categories of donor, board member, and (past) professional with expertise in this profession. I joined the GMC nearly two years ago and found a home for not only the type of music I wanted to make but also for the type of people with whom I wanted to perform. A highly diverse group, versed in all manners and walks of life, GMC member enthusiasm and drive makes my experience something I look forward to every week. Having Joe at the Artistic Director helm is the icing on the cake. He is passionate about the product, and I thorougly enjoy how deeply vested he is in making the GMC experience valuable for both participant and recipient. From the camaraderie and magic enjoyed on our European tour to the excitement planning the spring 2013 world premiere project, "Letter from Italy, 1944," my involvement with GMC has become life-changing. I am so eager to see where we are going from here.
Review from Guidestar
I feel fortunate, indeed to have successfully auditioned for entry into such a challenging and demanding Chorale. The growth in my musicianship and confidence in performing has been phenomenal, all due to Artistic Director Joe Deugenio. The civic and humanitarian efforts of this group are peerless. I now serve on the Board and can wholeheartedly endorse this gem of New England!
It was my profound honor to have been commissioned by the GMChorale in 2011 as its Composer-in Residence to write Letter From Italy, 1944. Not only does this oratorio recognize my father’s life before, during and after WW11, but it also reaches out to the current widespread veteran community that is suffering from the devastating impact of PTSD either during embattlement or upon returning home.
The chorale has become one of the leading choruses in Connecticut under the brilliant leadership of Joseph D’Eugenio, who is able and willing to engage whatever choral technique to suit the music at hand, though I most love the chorales’ signature robust sound.
I spoke to the Concert Mistress of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra after the performance of the Mozart Requiem in 2015. She noted that in her five years of collaboration with the chorale, she felt that the group had strengthened exponentially in both vocal technique and expression. She found this particular choral performance superb. I absolutely agree.
The programming is always novel and engaging. Most recently, the coupling of Chichester Psalms by Bernstein with Lord Nelson Mass by Haydn was somehow perfect, as was the compelling performance of two works so different in character and the timing in musical history during which they were written
Finally, beyond the music, what I love most about this group is the joy that is evident in all that they do.
I am currently composer ln Residence of the Greater Middletown Chorale, under commission to write a full-scale oratotio that will be performed in 2013. It is my unequivocal delight to write this recommendation. Under the direction of the recently heralded artistic director and conductor, Joseph D'Eugenio, GMC has become one of the most deeply respected choruses in CT. Maestro D'Eugenio, both a gifted musician and a gifted human being, is able to interface extremely high expectations with patience,humor, and evident love for the group. The singers are responsive, enthusiastic, and absolutely committed to every undertaking. All performances are of the highest quality. Beyond the music, there is an underlying current of warmth, rare and infectious, that is felt palpably by all who come into contact with GMC. I feel that I am theirs and they are mine. Need I say more?
Review from Guidestar
Fabulous group - couldn't live without them! As an audience member I leave every concert inspired and transformed.
The Chorale does exceptional work. Not only are their performances first class, the organization is an incredibly supportive community, giving members an opportunity of participating in a mutually beneficial activity. As someone who has been a member for some years, I can attest to the warm welcome given to new members, and the apparent lack of the conflict that often occurs in volunteer organizations. Also, they provide financial help to those for whom the annual dues are prohibitive.
I've been with the Greater Middletown Chorale for over ten years. Along with many others in this group I drive a considerable distance to sing because of the level of excellence I have found there. The music is varied, often challenging, and the director is talented and ambitious on our behalf. We work hard but we also laugh a lot. It's a friendly and supportive bunch, and difficult personalities are few and far between (not always my experience in other choirs!) There is also a seemingly endless supply of volunteers to help run just about every aspect of this group, and we have wonderful support from friends, family, and music lovers in our area. My life is much fuller because of my experiences with the GMC.
The Greater Middletown Chorale is the first and only choir in which I've sung. When a friend invited me to join 12 years ago, I shyly attended a Tuesday rehearsal and met with the musical director, Joe d'Eugenio. He asked if I was a soprano or alto, and I didn't even know! His kindness and gentleness immediately put me at ease, he suggested I try singing soprano, and in no time Tuesday evenings became the highlight of my week. In those early years I was a bit daunted by the level of musicianship around me, and simultaneously felt deeply honored to be a part of such a talented group. Today, though I have learned how to sight read new music without panicking, and can scribble all those musical notations that Joe shoots out at rehearsals without looking over my neighbor's shoulder, I continue to be humbled by the talent around me, to be grateful for the devotion of the membership, and to be inspired by Joe's magical combination of serious expectations and gentle support. The Greater Middletown Chorale brings out the best in me, and Tuesday nights are still a highlight of my week.
My experience with the GMC helped me decide to pursue Music. I started singing with them in high school, and I was so inspired by the musicianship of the choir and the ridiculous amount of talent in the conductor that I decided to pursue music more seriously. I recently graduated from college after studying singing and am with the GMC again and I am still astounded by the choir's skills and sounds and by the conductor's vast knowledge, talent, and heart. And more than all of that, the people are all some of the most warm and welcoming you could hope to meet.
I have been singing with the GMChorale for about 12 years. In that time I have seen the repertoire grow from mainly classic works by the great composers Bach, Mozart,Haydn and the like to living American composers. We have performed New works,premiered some and have also commissioned others. Our most recent achievements have been to perform the Northeast premier of the Mollicone Beatitude Mass for the Homeless.
We were privileged to have the composer present a talk prior to the event. He was tremendously moved by our performance. In addition we commissioned and performed a nee and moving oratorio, Letter from Italy, 1944, soon to be released. As you can see, under the reins of our acclaimed artistic director, Joseph D'Eugenio, we have become one of the premier chorales attracting young and accomplished singers. I urge everyone to come to hear us or join us in song
I am a nine year amateur member of the Greater Middletown Chorale and sing in the tenor section. I have been on the board and have proudly served as president. I, along with some 60 other members donate an amazing amount of time, money and our heartfelt passion for singing choral music each year to the chorale. Why do I do it? Because I get the privilege of singing some of the best music every created and my singing ability improves with each new performance. And I get the opportunity to share it with my friends, family and the community at large. I am pleased to be a part of a family of welcoming singers who collaborate to sing beautiful music. They are now my dear friends in music. (And the food at the after concert receptions is fantastic!)
I joined this choir a short time ago seeking three things: an inspiring and demanding director, a high level of musicianship from the singers, and compelling repertoire. It is a rare community choir that combines all three of these elements. This is one of the rare gems, and I am overjoyed to have found it. Under Joe D'Eugenio, every rehearsal is also a voice lesson. He does a superb job of instilling in the singers a professional attitude and pride in quality music-making--by bringing in professional singers, by collaborating with professional orchestras, and most of all by holding volunteer singers to the same standard as the professionals we collaborate with. This group enriches the entire community--volunteers, professionals, and audiences.
I have sung with the Chorale on and off for over 20 years. I'm not a professional musician, but have sung in several choral groups as an amateur lover of choral music. Some conductors are good with folks who need to learn a lot, but they can't produce high quality concerts. Some conductors can conduct the super-good singers and produce a wonderful concert, but leave the learners in the dust. Somehow Joe D'Eugenio manages to teach the whole range of singers in the Chorale, helping those of us who need to learn more, and still challenging the excellent performers among us. He is always looking for strategies to bring out the best in everyone. As a result, the morale and friendliness is sky-high, the learning is intense, and the concerts are excellent. The fact that more and more semi-professional singers have gravitated to the chorale over the years attests to the quality of musicianship of the conductor and the chorale, the choice of music, and the excellence of our performances. As a professional in my community, I'm proud to be a part of this organization.
I was trained as a choral conductor but have pursued another profession for the past 25 years. I joined the Greater Middletown Chorale in 2006 and immediately knew I was "home." It is a large and diverse group that employs vocal coaches to help our singers develop their vocal technique and musical versatility. Our artistic director Joe D'Eugenio brings professional passion, vision, and overriding care for the personal experience of each singer. In six short years, I have had the opportunity to tour Europe twice; be part of two oratorios that were of the highest musical quality and achieved overall excellence; and as current President have overseen the upcoming world premiere of a dramatic contemporary oratorio, "Letter from Italy, 1944", that is already promoting healed lives among military veterans and their families. "Chorale" is too narrow a label for the good this organization accomplishes.
We have been faithful followers of the Greater Middletown Chorale since it was initially formed in 1997. Since then, it has become a wonderful chorale resource in Connecticut and beyond. It provides an outstanding musical resource for the general public. It also encourages the development of vocalists, musicians and new composers in an era of considerable financial challenge. The current project "Letter from Italy, 1944" provides an opportunity to use all of these resources to join with personal history in presenting a reminder of the effects of any war on the individuals and families involved. We heartily recommend the GMC as a worthy recipient of Grant monies for their support and certainly consider it to be one of our "Favorite Nonprofits".
I've been involved in music all my life - Music Ed. in college, Music teacher for 22 years and a member of various musical organizations along the way. This is, by far, the best and most professional organization in which I have had the pleasure to participate. This is largely due to the excellent musicianship of the artistic director. Joseph D'Eugenio, and also to the professional singers that he manages to attract to our organization. His credentials are superior, his musical taste impeccable, and his passion for his art contagious. Concert works include traditional masterworks and also new and exciting music, often comissioned and presented as premiers, always performed with consistently high quality musicianship. I feel privileged to belong to such an outstanding organization.